Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Hour of the Dragon 12 - Robert E. Howard

Part 12 of an ongoing serialisation.


5 out of 5

http://m1_sterling.tripod.com/conan/hour_of_the_dragon12.mp3

The Whisperer In Darkness 3 - H. P. Lovecraft

Part 3 of an audio serial.


4 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/Whisperer_in_Darkness_3.mp3

The Whisperer In Darkness 2 - H. P. Lovecraft

2nd part of an audio serial.


4 out of 5

http://traffic.libsyn.com/nineteennocturne/Whisperer_in_Darkness_2.mp3

Sublimation Angels 3 - Jason Sanford

Third part of the audios serialisation.


4 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_160_James_Morrow.mp3

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Slow River 1 - Nicola Griffith

""That's what most people think. But it's not difficult to break it. It just takes time and a good programme. Nothing glamourous. This one..." She smiled. "Well, let's see." She sat down at her bench, connected the slate to a couple of jacks, flipped some switches. "Can you see from down there?" Lore nodded. On a readout facing Spanner numbers began to flicker faster than Lore could read them. "Depending on the complexity of the code, it takes anywhere from half a minute to an hour. I've yet to come across one that--" The numbers stopped. "Ah. An easy one." She touched another button and the red feed light on the slate lit up. "It's downloading everything: account numbers, the net numbers of people called in the last few months, name, address, occupation, DNA codes of the owner...everything." She was smiling to herself.

"What do you use it for?"

"Depends. Some slates are useless to us. We just ransom them back to their owners for a modest fee. No one gets hurt. Often we couch things in terms of a reward for the finder. No police involvement. Nothing to worry about.""


4 out of 5

http://www.nicolagriffith.com/slowriverx.html

Writing Slow River - Nicola Griffith

"Have you really been sneered at?


[Laughs.] Countless times! But rarely by anyone who has actually read my work. You wouldn't believe the number of people who pick up AMMONITE or one of my novellas and say, "Well, I've always thought science fiction was rubbish, but I *liked* this..." And the surprise is so naked in their voices that I have to bite my tongue to not say, "It's not polite to be too surprised," because what they really mean is: I've been told sci-fi is pulp rubbish, so I've never read any. Even after reading my work, and realizing it's good, they can't take the next step, which is to consider the fact that, despite what they may have been told, perhaps not all science fiction is rubbish simply because it is science fiction. No, they say (even those who may have gone to good schools, and learned logic): I *liked* this, it's good, therefore it's not really science fiction, is it?"


4.5 out of 5

http://www.nicolagriffith.com/writing.html

The Hour of the Dragon 11 - Robert E. Howard

The novel length Conan work. An aging Conan is now in a position of responsibility, being King of Aquilonia.

His reign is threatened by a very powerful sorcerer, whom Conan is unable to stop by mundane means, and must take himself off hunting for a mystic artifact.

Having done this, there is some wizard smiting to be done.

Top notch work.

5 out of 5

http://m1_sterling.tripod.com/conan/hour_of_the_dragon11.mp3

Tetragraviton 1 - J. D. Crayne

"Captain Spycer lifted her slender brows and started down the passenger way which had extruded, slightly warped, from the side of the still-steaming ship, the silver and blue Command Force uniform clinging to her shapely front and rear elevations. "Do I at least have time for a manicure and shampoo?"

"You don't even have time to piss!" he barked. "There's a meeting in the war room at fifteen-thirty, and you're going to be there!"

"Okay, okay. Don't get your knickers in a twist." She moved nonchalantly down the last few steps and followed her commanding officer off across the landing field.

Fifteen minutes later, Captain Sherilyn Spycer was seated at a long conference table, listening to a conclave of scientific experts explain breathlessly that the solar system would be destroyed in eight months, three days, twenty-one hours, and thirty four minutes.

"All right," she said, lacing gauntleted fingers together on the table in front of her. "I'm glad you've got an approximation."

"There's no doubt about it!" Dr. Barkward, an elderly white-haired astrophysicist with trembling hands, said gravely as he rose to his feet. "We have calculated the position of V4641, and find that it and its companion microquasar are headed directly toward our sun. Impelled by some strange and unknown motive force, it will be within gravitational range of Sol by the 25th of December, at exactly three minutes after midnight!"

"That's a good excuse not to buy Christmas cards," Captain Spycer murmured."


3.5 out of 5

https://store.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b30318/Tetragravitron-/J-D-Crayne/?si=0

Smoked Out 1 - Warren Murphy

""Doctors don't kill their wives in car accidents," Koko said. She hoisted a powder blue gown up over her head and began to insinuate herself into it.

"How do doctors kill their wives?" Digger asked.

"Bubbles of air. Exotic poisons. Do unnecessary surgery, leave in a handful of sponges, then feed them Perrier and let them explode. Not car accidents.""


3.5 out of 5

http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book&bi=115109&si=0

Lucifer's Weekend 1 - Warren Murphy

""He is," Digger said. "But he's not into the bar scene. I'll tell you, though, he couldn't keep his eyes off you. He was wondering if you and he could... well, you know, maybe meet sometime outside of here."

"Sure, we could," the waiter said.

Digger pulled a business card from his pocket and wrote on the back of it.

"Here," he said. "Here's his name and address. Walt Brackler. Give him a call. He'd really like to hear from you. He'd really like to be open, out in the life like us, but, well, you know, it comes hard for some people."

The waiter pocketed the card and nodded. "I'll be sure to call him," he said. Then he graced Digger with a smile. "But that still leaves tonight," he said. "You know, your friend's small and I like that, but I like big men too. Big, tall, blond men." He reached his hand tentatively toward Digger's hair.

Digger caught the man's hand and winked at him.

"Tell me," Digger said. "You like travel?"

"Oh, yeah."

"Do you like sex?" Digger asked.

"Of course."

Digger squeezed the waiter's hand hard. "Good. Then take a fucking hike," he said."


3.5 out of 5


http://www.fictionwise.com/servlet/mw?t=book&bi=115109&si=0

Deluge 59 - Brian Keene

"Then they passed by the floating corpse of a giant crab. The decomposing carcass was easily the size of a pick-up truck. It had swollen so much from internal gasses that its shell was cracked in places. It oozed rot into the water around it, and the stench was revolting. Gail gagged as it passed them by. Several seabirds were perched on the body, picking morsels out from between the cracks."


3 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4905

Hellboy - The Whitter Legacy

Always have the right amulet.


3 out of 5

http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2010/10/11/hboyx.jpg

http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2010-10-11-hellboy11_ST_N.htm

The Masked Superteam Answers Your Questions - Joseph Mallozzi

An in-depth multi-interview/discussion about the anthology edited by Lou Anders.

"Matthew Sturges (“Cleansed and Set in Gold”)…


Matt's wild, no-holds-barred, in-your-face opener marks him as a furious force to be reckoned with. He's our...

Wolverine

Arlan writes: “For Matthew Sturges: Where did you come up with Wildcard’s power? It is definitely one of the most unique powers I’ve seen among superheroes (and one of the more disgusting).”

MS: The idea for Wildcard’s power came from a question I’d been playing with for a while: what if a hero’s power came from a source so horrible that he could never tell anyone what it was? It all kind of spiraled out of that.)

Quade writes: “Our “hero” was left in quite the predicament, I would love to see how it pans out. Will there be a follow-up to “Cleaned And Set In Gold”?”

MS: I don’t have any immediate plans to revisit Wildcard or that world, but I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel around those characters. Not sure if anyone would buy it, though. If, however, Lou invites me back for Masked 2, you can bet that we’ll see more of him.)"


5 out of 5


http://josephmallozzi.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/the-masked-superteam-answers-your-questions-lou-anders-matthew-sturges-james-maxey-paul-cornell-daryl-gregory-gail-simone-mark-chadbourn-marjorie-m-liu-and-yours-truly/

The Windup Girl 1 - Paolo Bacigalupi

"The megodont gathers itself and heaves against its chains. Iron links crack and whistle through the air, smashing into conveyor lines. A fleeing worker collapses. Anderson drops his useless rifle and yanks out the spring gun. It’s a toy against ten tons of enraged animal, but it’s all he has left. The megodont charges and Anderson fires, pulling the trigger as quickly as his finger can convulse. Useless bladed disks spatter against the avalanche.

The megodont slaps him off his feet with its trunk. The prehensile appendage coils around his legs like a python. Anderson scrabbles for a grip on the door jam, trying to kick free. The trunk squeezes. Blood rushes into his head. He wonders if the monster simply plans to pop him like some blood-bloated mosquito, but then the beast is dragging him off the balcony. Anderson scrabbles for a last handhold as the railing slides past and then he’s airborne. Flying free."


4.5 out of 5

http://www.orbitbooks.net/extracts/an-extract-from-the-windup-girl/

Mice Templar 1

Rodent carnage.


3.5 out of 5

Mice Templar 1

http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album_view.php?gid=1902&page=3

Friday, October 29, 2010

Crustaceans - William Meikle

"Snick. A lancing pain, white hot, shot up his arm. He reached for his eyes again. His arm never made it. His hand was no longer where it was supposed to be. Confused, he waved his arm in front of his face. Hot blood washed over him and into his mouth. He gagged and spat. Snickety-snick. He felt a new pain at the same time as his left leg gave way under him. He fell to the sand. What the hell is going on? Somewhere Toms and Kaminski screamed… high wails of terror. McGuire put his left hand on the ground, trying to push himself upright. Something grabbed him tight around the waist. It didn’t feel like a friendly hug. Snick. The whole lower half of McGuire’s body suddenly came loose, like the mother and father of all bowel movements. He felt no pain as darkness seeped in around his thoughts."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14452

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hush Money - Susan Bischoff

"“And that’s really nice of me, right? I mean, standing between you and Jeff like that—well, really, between you and the State School and who knows what they do there. Seems like that ought to be worth something.”

“All this, assuming I had a clue what you’re talking about, which I don’t.”

“See, I’m betting that it doesn’t matter if you admit to what you did or not. Jeff knows you did. I saw you do it. So what you’ve got to ask yourself is: will anyone believe us if we tell? Now…you might want to tell yourself that you can toss your hair and flash a smile and talk your way out of—whatever. But really, we’re talking about two witnesses vs. a suspected Talent who allegedly used her ability against another person. I’m thinkin’ that plan’s not going to work too well for you.

“So here’s what I’m offering: my silence, and Jeff’s silence, guaranteed, your freedom and secrecy secure, for the low, low price of just $500.”"


3 out of 5

http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/20594/49/hush-money-talent-chronicles

Inhuman - Danielle Lee

"“DNA. Deoxyribonucleic Acid. The basic structure contains a double helix, forty-six chromosomes and several genetic markers shared by all humans.” Agent Evans sat across from me, his face somber. “You, Cassia, have none of the standard ‘human’ DNA attributes. Our scientists are still researching the samples to learn more, but as it stands, you do not have human DNA.” “I don’t understand.” I stated, my voice echoing within the walls of a small conference room. Keanu had arranged for Agent Evans to talk to me. He’d apparently explained how I needed to know what was going on and he obviously believed that I had no idea. “Your DNA has very…pronounced differences.” He paused as though reluctant to tell me, then continued. “Instead of a double helix…you have a triple helix. Instead of forty-six chromosomes, you have at least double that. All of which…in human understanding…is impossible.”"


3 out of 5

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/18246

The Hard Edge of Empire - Charles Stross

"I am becoming annoyed by the current glut of Steampunk that is being foisted on the SF-reading public via the likes of Tor.com and io9.

It's not that I actively dislike steampunk, and indeed I have fond memories of the likes of K. W. Jeter's "Infernal Devices", Tim Powers' "The Anubis Gates", the works of James Blaylock, and other features of the 1980s steampunk scene. I don't have that much to say against the aesthetic and costumery other than, gosh, that must be rather hot and hard to perambulate in. (I will confess to being a big fan of Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius.) It's just that there's too damn much of it about right now, and furthermore, it's in danger of vanishing up its own arse due to second artist effect. (The first artist sees a landscape and paints what they see; the second artist sees the first artist's work and paints that, instead of a real landscape.)"

...

"But there's a dark side as well. We know about the real world of the era steampunk is riffing off. And the picture is not good. If the past is another country, you really wouldn't want to emigrate there. Life was mostly unpleasant, brutish, and short; the legal status of women in the UK or US was lower than it is in Iran today: politics was by any modern standard horribly corrupt and dominated by authoritarian psychopaths and inbred hereditary aristocrats"


4.5 out of 5

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/10/the-hard-edge-of-empire.html

Starship Stormtroopers - Michael Moorcock

"It was Alfred Bester who first attracted me to science fiction. I'd read some fantasy and Edgar Rice Burroughs before that, but I thought that if The Stars My Destination (also called Tiger! Tiger!) was sf, then this was the fiction for me. It took me some years to realise that Bester was one of the few exceptions. At the ending of The Stars My Destination the self-educated, working class, 'scum of the spaceways', Gully Foyle, comes into possession of the substance known as PyrE, capable of detonating at a thought and probably destroying the solar system at very least. The plot has revolved around the attempts of various powerful people to get hold of the stuff. Foyle has it. Moral arguments or forceful persuasions are brought against him to make him give PyrE up to a 'responsible' agency. In the end he scatters the stuff to 'the mob' of the solar system. Here you are, he says, it's yours. Its your destiny. Do with it how you see fit. "


4 out of 5

http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/moorcock.html

Ringworld 40th Anniversary - Various Various

A series of posts at Tor.com you can find under the tag :-


3.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/tags/Ringworld%2040th%20Anniversary

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Salute the Dark 1 - Adrian Tchaikovsky

"So the ranks diminish, he reflected sadly, yet the Lowlands was readying itself for battle. Sarn and Collegium and the Ancient League were summoning their allies. Stenwold needed every agent he could get, and he was still short, but he could not make the numbers add up. Sperra was now lost to him, as was Achaeos, who could have proved so useful amongst his own people. Tynisa would not fight, and he had not even asked Che to help him. His resources were growing fewer even as the Wasp armies massed."


4 out of 5

http://pyrsamples.blogspot.com/2010/10/salute-dark-by-adrian-tchaikovsky.html

Melanie - Aliette de Bodard

Mad maths breakup, scaly.


3.5 out of 5

http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/tuesday-fiction-melanie-by-aliette-de-bodard/

At the Mountains of Madness 6 - H. P. Lovecraft

"An Antarctic expedition discovers some uncanny fossils on the wind swept plateau. It leads to the discovery of a lost civilization and mind-blasting terror in the City of the Old Ones. Originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of Astounding Stories."


4 out of 5

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Books/mountains6.mp3

At the Mountains of Madness 5 - H. P. Lovecraft

"An Antarctic expedition discovers some uncanny fossils on the wind swept plateau. It leads to the discovery of a lost civilization and mind-blasting terror in the City of the Old Ones. Originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of Astounding Stories."


4 out of 5

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Books/mountains5.mp3

The Witch's Murder - Dave Freer and Eric Flint

Black Lotos bad witch pig's blood.

3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__19.htm

At the Mountains of Madness 4 - H. P. Lovecraft

"An Antarctic expedition discovers some uncanny fossils on the wind swept plateau. It leads to the discovery of a lost civilization and mind-blasting terror in the City of the Old Ones. Originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of Astounding Stories."


4 out of 5

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Books/mountains4.mp3

The Enchanted Bunny - David Drake

Hard to blow up a dragon.

3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__15.htm

At the Mountains of Madness 3 - H. P. Lovecraft

"An Antarctic expedition discovers some uncanny fossils on the wind swept plateau. It leads to the discovery of a lost civilization and mind-blasting terror in the City of the Old Ones. Originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of Astounding Stories."


4 out of 5

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Books/mountains3.mp3

The Black Bird - David Barr Kirtley

Statue strangeness all the way down, evermore.


3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__14.htm

At the Mountains of Madness 2 - H. P. Lovecraft

"An Antarctic expedition discovers some uncanny fossils on the wind swept plateau. It leads to the discovery of a lost civilization and mind-blasting terror in the City of the Old Ones. Originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of Astounding Stories."


4 out of 5

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Books/mountains2.mp3

The Case Of the Skinflint's Specters - Brian M. Thomsen

Scrooge inheritance.

3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__13.htm

At the Mountains of Madness 1 - H. P. Lovecraft

"An Antarctic expedition discovers some uncanny fossils on the wind swept plateau. It leads to the discovery of a lost civilization and mind-blasting terror in the City of the Old Ones. Originally serialized in the February, March and April 1936 issues of Astounding Stories."


4 out of 5

http://www.uvulaaudio.com/Books/mountains1.mp3

Queen of the Black Coast - Robert E. Howard

A podcast reading of this superb tale of pirates, passion and monsters.


5 out of 5

http://www.sffaudio.com/podcasts/SFFaudioPodcast079.mp3

Fox Tails - Richard Parks

Kids, too.


3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__11.htm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Books I will not write #7: To Boldly Blow - Charles Stross

"The working title for this project was "To Boldly Blow: A History of Bodily Fluids in Orbit". (And if Mary Roach wants to grab it and run, I'll be cheering from the bleachers.)

The history of the American and Russian manned space programs (and, for all I know, the Chinese manned space program) is all about packing primates into flimsy aluminium cans and throwing them, very hard indeed, into an environment that would kill said primates dead in thirty seconds flat if the can springs a leak. And sometimes they not only leak: they catch fire, the toilet backs up, and the walls sprout mold. That, I should add, was one of the most successful missions of the 20th century. Skylab, in comparison to Mir, was an embarrassment. First, the solar panels didn't open; then the highly experimental toilet ("correct me if I'm wrong here, but in this design — the shit is meant to hit the fan and get flung off in all directions?"), and finally the fart-ridden atmosphere at the end of the marathon 84-day Skylab 4 mission that was so loaded with methane that the crew were concerned about the risk of an explosion; keeping canned monkeys alive in outer space is hard."


4 out of 5

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/10/books-i-will-not-write-7-to-bo.html

Black Amazon of Mars 7-9 - Leigh Brackett

Librivox audio serial.

"Carrying out the last wishes of a comrade, mercenary Eric John Stark takes on the task of returning a stolen talisman to a walled city near the Martian pole; a city that guards the mysterious Gates of Death. Now all he has to do is get past the brutal clans of Mekh and the shadowy Lord Ciaran to get to Kushat where they’ll probably attempt to kill him. All while he tries to hold on to a talisman that imprints ancient memories of the Gates in his mind. That’s not easy for a human raised by Mercurian aborigines."


5 out of 5


http://www.archive.org/download/black_amazon_of_mars_1010_librivox/blackamazonofmars_3_brackett_64kb.mp3

Monday, October 25, 2010

Feminism, astronauts, and riding sidesaddle: Talking to Dreamsnake's - Vonda McIntyre

"It's been a long time since I wrote the book, and I don't remember exactly when I realized that Dreamsnake and The Exile Waiting were set on the same world, more or less at the same time. I've never actually decided which one comes first. And I don't think it really matters, because they don't really intersect."


4 out of 5

http://io9.com/5670273/

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Renunciation Of The Crimes Of Gharad The Undying - Alex Kreis

Evil overlord apology.


4 out of 5

http://www.blackgate.com/special-fiction-feature-“the-renunciation-of-the-crimes-of-gharad-the-undying”/

Black Amazon of Mars 4-6 - Leigh Brackett

Librivox audio serial.

"Carrying out the last wishes of a comrade, mercenary Eric John Stark takes on the task of returning a stolen talisman to a walled city near the Martian pole; a city that guards the mysterious Gates of Death. Now all he has to do is get past the brutal clans of Mekh and the shadowy Lord Ciaran to get to Kushat where they’ll probably attempt to kill him. All while he tries to hold on to a talisman that imprints ancient memories of the Gates in his mind. That’s not easy for a human raised by Mercurian aborigines."


5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/black_amazon_of_mars_1010_librivox/blackamazonofmars_2_brackett_64kb.mp3

Deluge 58 - Brian Keene

"“I’m okay. Hungry. I could go for some more rat.” Gail paused. “God, I can’t believe I just said that.”

“I can,” Novak replied. “That rat was fucking tasty.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4854

The Basics of Flight 2 4 - Joyne Chng

"“Admit it, Thomas,” Katherine remained cold, unmoved. “You cheated. You moved ahead of us. It was an illegal move and you knew it. Have you not thought about Edward’s safety? Your own safety?”

“Safety?” Thomas’s face and uniform were stained green. His eyes were bright with unshed tears. “I tell you safety!” He leapt towards Katherine, his hands grappling for her throat. Edward yelled and held onto the livid youth with his arms."


3 out of 5

http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/original-fiction-%E2%80%9Cthe-basics-of-flight%E2%80%9D-part-2-chp-8-by-joyce-chng/

Underground 2 - Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber

Guns and bats.


4 out of 5

http://undergroundthecomic.com/thepreviews/ug02_complete.pdf

Underground 1 - Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber

You murdered a ranger in the cave?


4 out of 5

Underground 1 - Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber

http://www.undergroundthecomic.com/download-it-free/

Lollo - Martin Livings

Live clown doll.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.apexbookcompany.com/2010/09/free-fiction-lollo-from-close-encounters-of-the-urban-kind/

The Detective of Dreams - Gene Wolfe

The Detective Of Dreams - Gene Wolfe
Execution not too well d___.


3 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__18.htm

Monsters - Lavie Tidhar

Devel ship blong.


3 out of 5

http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/2010/10/monsters/

Jury Service 4 - Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow

"Here's part 4 of Jury Service. Jury Service is the first of two novellas Charlie Stross and I wrote about Huw, a technophobe stuck on Earth after the Singularity (the other one being Appeals Court)."


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_192/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_192_Jury_Service_04.mp3

The Nex 07 - Tim Pratt

"“You got my file from school?” I couldn’t believe it. Ruler of Nexington-on-Axis with spy satellites and armies of frogmen and monster-soldiers at his disposal? Sure. Capable of having a catered dinner flown in by helicopter at a moment’s notice? Okay. But being able to get my file from the principal’s office on another planet? That was power."


3 out of 5

http://www.timpratt.org/nex/?p=29

Rereading Kornbluth - Robert Silverberg

"I first saw his name on the contents page of the July 1949 issue of the now forgotten pulp magazine Startling Stories. I was a high-school sophomore then, reading too much science fiction when I should have been studying my geometry and Latin. His short story, “The Only Thing We Learn,” probably made little impact on my adolescent self, because—as I observed when I read it last week—it’s a subtle, oblique, elliptical, sardonic piece of work. Those adjectives apply to most of what Kornbluth wrote during his short, brilliant career, but I was only mildly interested in subtlety in those days, and in that issue I was probably more impressed by George O. Smith’s slam-bang lead novella, “Fire in the Heavens.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.asimovs.com/2010_12/ref.shtml

Tekgrrl 1 - A. J. Menden

" I thought about smacking Toby, but knew it wouldn't do any good. His powers made him super strong and fast-and more resistant to damage than the average human. He could take a shotgun blast at point-blank range and come away with a mere scratch. My girly punch would feel like a tickle.

Jealousy reared its ugly head, and not just at my friend Lainey's blissful happiness. I had no powers. I was a child prodigy who'd gotten her crazy intelligence boosted by aliens. I could do things with technology now that not even the smartest members of NASA could; in fact, they had gotten a lot of their patents off me when I was sixteen. But I wasn't superhuman.

Luke Harmon was more like me, a "normal" human fighting the good fight. He had an athlete's body and a photographic memory, something that came in handy while studying with many martial arts experts. That body was one of the most delicious and powerful things I'd ever seen. "


2.5 out of 5


http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Tekgrrl/A-J-Menden/e/9781428506824/?pt=BK&stage=bookproduct&pwb=1&#CHP

Black Amazon of Mars 1-3 - Leigh Brackett

Librivox audio serial.

"Carrying out the last wishes of a comrade, mercenary Eric John Stark takes on the task of returning a stolen talisman to a walled city near the Martian pole; a city that guards the mysterious Gates of Death. Now all he has to do is get past the brutal clans of Mekh and the shadowy Lord Ciaran to get to Kushat where they’ll probably attempt to kill him. All while he tries to hold on to a talisman that imprints ancient memories of the Gates in his mind. That’s not easy for a human raised by Mercurian aborigines."


5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/black_amazon_of_mars_1010_librivox/blackamazonofmars_1_brackett_64kb.mp3

The Song of the Slaves - Manly Wade Wellman

Davy Jones zombie collar.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/otherworlds25mod00ston

A Rose For Emily - William Faulkner

A Rose For Emily - William Faulkner
http://www.ariyam.com/docs/lit/wf_rose.html

Dead hair find.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/greattalesofterr00wise

http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/litweb05/workshops/fiction/faulkner1.asp

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Black Pits of Luna - Robert A. Heinlein

Shorty for the moon.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/sciencefictionre00barr

To Serve Man - Damon Knight

To Serve Man - Damon Knight
Tasty looking people.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/farout13sciencef00knig

The Million-Year Picnic - Ray Bradbury

Mealtime archaeology.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/Tops_In_Science_Fiction_Volume_1_Number_1_

http://www.archive.org/details/worldofwonderint00prat

The Blue Giraffe - L. Sprague De Camp

Whacky animal park.

3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/worldofwonderint00prat

The Red Queen's Race - Isaac Asimov

The Red Queen's Race - Isaac Asimov
Atomic energy time depletion.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/worldofwonderint00prat

Giant Killer - A. Bertram Chandler

Giant Killer - A. Bertram Chandler
Rat race ship slaughter.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/worldofwonderint00prat

The Road To Nightfall - Robert Silverberg

The Road To Nightfall - Robert Silverberg
"I can't even be sure this is horse, Heydahl. What kind of meat is it?" Katterson's voice, usually carefully modulated, became a snarl. "A choice slice of fat little boy? Maybe a steak from some poor devil who was in the wrong neighborhood one evening?"


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/fantasticunivers00sant

Call Me Joe - Poul Anderson

Call Me Joe - Poul Anderson
"Psibeams are persnickety"


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

Angel's Egg - Edgar Pangborn

Angel's Egg - Edgar Pangborn
A fast little memory visitor record.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

The Star - Arthur C. Clarke

The Star - Arthur C. Clarke
http://lucis.net/stuff/clarke/star_clarke.html

http://www.archive.org/download/MindWebs-SciFi/Mindwebs-770211_ThisIsTheStar_TheGift.mp3

Jesuit crewing for amusement finds supernova technology treasure cache is Star of Bethlehem reference point.



3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

Sky Lift - Robert A. Heinlein

Sky Lift - Robert A. Heinlein
High g emergency Pluto run.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

Sail On! Sail On! - Philip Jose Farmer

Sail On! Sail On! - Philip Jose Farmer
Angel radio.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

Who Can Replace Man? - Brian Aldiss

Who Can Replace Man? - Brian Aldiss
Human lack machine chaos conflict.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

Reason - Isaac Asimov

Reason - Isaac Asimov
Robot curiosity of philosophy.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

What's It Like Out There? - Edmond Hamilton

What's It Like Out There? - Edmond Hamilton
Mars crackup shootout coverup.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/centuryofscience00knig

The Man Who Always Knew - Algis Budrys

The Man Who Always Knew - Algis Budrys
Secondhand luck sales.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/bestscienceficti00dikt

Clerical Error - Mark Clifton

Clerical Error - Mark Clifton
Clerical Error - Mark Clifton

"Man," Kingston exploded with heavy irony, "you imply that psychiatry isn't an exact science? Of course it is a science! Why, man, we have all sorts of intricate laboratories, and arrays of nice shiny tools, and flashing lights on electronic screens, and mechanical pencils drawing jagged lines on revolving drums of paper, and charts and graphs, and statistics. And theory? Why, man, we've got more theory than you ever dreamed of in physical science! Of course it's a science. Any rational man has to agree that the psychiatrist is a scientist. We ought to know. We are the ones who define rationality!"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/bestscienceficti00dikt

A Canticle For Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller

A Canticle For Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller
Wanna see my copy?


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/bestscienceficti00dikt

I Do Not Love Thee Doctor Fell - Robert Bloch

Coz I might be you.

3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/bestscienceficti00dikt

Judgment Day - L. Sprague De Camp

Judgment Day - L. Sprague De Camp
Iron reaction bullyboy global blowup.


4.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/bestscienceficti00dikt

Volpla - Wyman Guin

Volpla - Wyman Guin
http://www.archive.org/download/XMinus1B/xminusone_570829_Volpla.mp3

You made us, but stuffed if we will live like animals.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/13greatstoriesof00conk

Compassion Circuit - John Wyndham

Compassion Circuit - John Wyndham
Homebot worries.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/13greatstoriesof00conk

The Light - Poul Anderson

The Light - Poul Anderson
http://www.archive.org/download/XMinus1C/xminusone_571024_TheLight.mp3

A spot of interplanetary photography.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/13greatstoriesof00conk

The Available Data On the Worp Reaction - Lion Miller

The Available Data On the Worp Reaction - Lion Miller
Junkyard surprise.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/13greatstoriesof00conk

German Science Fiction Up To 1945 - Elmer Podlasly

"Germany has an extensive history of science fiction. In the first of two articles,
Elmar Podlasly provides a summary review of some of Germany's landmark SF
up to the end of World War II.

Quick links to below sections:-
1. 1871 – 1918 Germany under the Kaiser
2. Dime novel culture under the Kaiser’s rule
3. 1918 – 1933 Weimar times
4. 1933 – 1945 Nazi Germany"


4.5 out of 5

http://www.concatenation.org/europe/german_science_fiction_before_ww2.html

Defense Mechanism - Katherine MacLean

Defense Mechanism - Katherine MacLean
ESP bunny protection.


3.5 out of 5

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24201586M/Beyond_the_barriers_of_space_and_time

The Wall Around the World - Theodore R. Cogswell

The Wall Around the World - Theodore R. Cogswell
Broomstick flight all in the mind.


3 out of 5

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24201586M/Beyond_the_barriers_of_space_and_time

The Golden Man - Philip K. Dick

The Golden Man - Philip K. Dick
Mutant deviant hunt prethink attraction.


4 out of 5

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24201586M/Beyond_the_barriers_of_space_and_time

Belief - Isaac Asimov

Belief - Isaac Asimov
The Truth About Toomey.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/beyondbarriersof00merr

Double Dare - Robert Silverberg

Double Dare - Robert Silverberg
http://www.archive.org/download/XMinus1C/xminusone_571219_DoubleDare.mp3

Alien test perpetual motion scam.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/fifthgalaxyreade00gold

The Veldt - Ray Bradbury

The Veldt - Ray Bradbury
http://www.archive.org/download/MindWebs-SciFi/Mindwebs-780127_TheVeldt.mp3

Why did we come here again?


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/beyondbarriersof00merr

To Here and the Easel - Theodore Sturgeon

Hippogriff nuts.

2.5 out of 5

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL6157604M/Star_short_novels

For I Am A Jealous People - Lester Del Rey

Extermination attack.

3 out of 5

http://openlibrary.org/books/OL6157604M/Star_short_novels

Alimentary My Dear Watson - Lawrence Schimel

Alice mini man mystery.

3 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__10.htm

Gunsel and Gretel - Esther M. Friesner

Witch dame are you, rara avis noir or gilt.

3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285___9.htm

McNamara's Fish - Ron Goulart

Elemental statuesque.

3 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285___8.htm

Claus of Death - Michael M. Jones

People are too cold around here, ex-wives included.


3 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285___7.htm

Doppelgangster - Laura Resnick

Wiseguy whacker wife.


3 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285___6.htm

And Ladies of the Club - Elizabeth Moon

And Ladies Of the Club - Elizabeth Moon
A women's chest armour tax prompts some wizardly temporary plastic surgery shenanigans.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1439133018/1439133018___4.htm

Lady of Steel - Roger Zelazny

Lady Of Steel - Roger Zelazny
Cross dressing to get that warrior-woman job.

3.5 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1439133018/1439133018___3.htm

Amortals 1 - Matt Forbeck

The author reading the first chapter himself.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.forbeck.com/downloads/Amortals%20Chapter%201.mp3

The Dragon Done It - Eric Flint and Mike Resnick

An anthology of fantasy mystery stories, of some variety, from Sherlock Holmes pastiche to fairy tale comedy, by way of Carnacki, Lord Darcy and private investigator vampires and Italian cleric agents and fox women. Along with a bit of unclassifiably weird, in David Barr Kirtley's case.

A solidly put together book at 3.42, which puts it on the high side of a 3.5 rating.

Dragon Done It : The Long and Short of It - Mike Resnick
Dragon Done It : Dead Wolf in a Hat - Graham Edwards
Dragon Done It : This Town Ain't Big Enough - Tanya Huff
Dragon Done It : The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds - Neil Gaiman
Dragon Done It : The Whistling Room - William Hope Hodgson
Dragon Done It : Doppelgangster - Laura Resnick
Dragon Done It : Claus of Death - Michael M. Jones
Dragon Done It : McNamara's Fish - Ron Goulart
Dragon Done It : Gunsel and Gretel - Esther M. Friesner
Dragon Done It : Alimentary My Dear Watson - Lawrence Schimel
Dragon Done It : Fox Tails - Richard Parks
Dragon Done It : A Case of Identity - Randall Garrett
Dragon Done It : The Case of the Skinflint's Specters - Brian M. Thomsen
Dragon Done It : The Black Bird - David Barr Kirtley
Dragon Done It : The Enchanted Bunny - David Drake
Dragon Done It : The Adventure of the Pearly Gates - Mike Resnick
Dragon Done It : The Seventh Chapter - Harry Turtledove
Dragon Done It : The Detective of Dreams - Gene Wolfe
Dragon Done It : The Witch's Murder - Dave Freer and Eric Flint

John Justin Mallory goes in for some circus magic.

3.5 out of 5

Titan Search Engine case.

3.5 out of 5

Vicki Nelson, newly a vampire, has to deal with another on her turf.

4 out of 5

Humpty Dumpty push investigation.

4 out of 5

A noisy monster in a castle, as Carnacki investigates, has origins going back a rather long way.

3.5 out of 5

Wiseguy whacker wife.

3 out of 5

People are too cold around here, ex-wives included.

3 out of 5

Elemental statuesque.

3 out of 5

Witch dame are you, rara avis noir or gilt.

3.5 out of 5

Alice mini man mystery.

3 out of 5

Kids, too.

3.5 out of 5

Ship swordplay does prove necessary in spy hunt.

3.5 out of 5

Scrooge inheritance

3.5 out of 5

Statue strangeness all the way down, evermore.

3.5 out of 5

Hard to blow up a dragon.

3.5 out of 5

Heavenly Ripper of a time.

3.5 out of 5

Monk Rule.

2.5 out of 5

Execution not too well d___.

3 out of 5

Black Lotos bad witch pig's blood.

3.5 out of 5



3.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/index.htm

The Seventh Chapter - Harry Turtledove

Monk Rule.


2.5 out of 5

http://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/23-TheEasternFrontCD/1635TheEasternFrontCD/The%20Dragon%20Done%20It/1416555285__17.htm

Goddess For A Day - Harry Turtledove

Goddess For A Day - Harry Turtledove
Athena impersonation armour is good for dealing with randy satyrs.


3 out of 5

http://www.webscription.net/chapters/1439133018/1439133018___6.htm

Friday, October 22, 2010

Thirty Minutes Over Broadway - Howard Waldrop

"“I can’t shoot anymore, for one thing. My depth perception isn’t what it used to be.”
“I shouldn’t wonder,” said Filmore. “We heard something happened to you in ’43.”
“Was in a somewhat-profitable operation out of Egypt while the Afrika Korps was falling apart. Taking people in and out for a fee in a nominally neutral air fleet. Just a sideline. Then ran into that hotshot flier.”
“Who?”
“Kid with the jet plane, before the Germans had them.”
“Tell you the truth, boss, I didn’t keep up with the war much. I take a long view on merely territorial conflicts.”
“As I should have,” said Dr. Tod. “We were flying out of Tunisia. Some important people were with us that trip. The pilot screamed. There was a tremendous explosion. Next thing, I came to, it was the next morning, and me and one other person are in a life raft in the middle of the Mediterranean. My face hurt. I lifted up. Something fell into the bottom of the raft. It was my left eyeball. It was looking up at me. I knew I was in trouble.”
“You said it was a kid with a jet plane?” asked Ed.
“Yes. We found out later they’d broken our code, and he’d flown six hundred miles to intercept us.”
“You want to get even?” asked Filmore.
“No. That was so long ago I hardly remember that side of my face. It just taught me to be a little more cautious. I wrote it off as character building.”
“So no plans, huh?”
“Not a single one,” said Dr. Tod."


4 out of 5

http://us.macmillan.com/BookCustomPage.aspx?isbn=9780765326157#Excerpt

Sublimation Angels 2 - Jason Sanford

Low kid AI mom decay alien Handling.


4 out of 5

http://www.jasonsanford.com/files/sublimationangels-1.pdf


4 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_159_Pat_Cadigan_and_Jason_Sanford.mp3

Life On Earth - Pat Cadigan

Life On Earth - Pat Cadigan
http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/cadigan2/cadigan21.html

Dead reality migration ambition.


4 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_159_Pat_Cadigan_and_Jason_Sanford.mp3

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Good Night Moon - Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker

Unfabbed reality.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.tor.com/stories/2010/10/good-night-moon

Snutch Labs Chat With - Laird Barron

"My work is heavily informed by my upbringing in rural Alaska. We were poor, lived in bad bad neighborhoods, so to speak. I worked a lot of blue collar jobs. Fishing, construction, and the like. Much of it was on the edge. I knew people who’d fit right into the noir or crime thriller of your choice. I don’t have to reach far for the seedy realism that inhabits much of my writing"


4.5 out of 5

http://snutchlabs.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/chat-w-laird-barron/

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Nex 06 - Tim Pratt

"“Bloody go-carts couldn’t have waited until we were done with our trip to become intelligent? Or done it a month ago, so another shop would be set up by now? We need transport, and the only rental agency around is off learning about the joys of consciousness.”"


4.5 out of 5

http://www.timpratt.org/nex/?p=27

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toe Popper 1 - Johnny Tangerine

"“I need to take the snake bite case with us, do you have a hospital connection?”

Williamson visibly winced. “Oh come on, a Cambodian national? That creates a lot of problems.”

Major Lane searched his brain for just the right motivational phrase. “Agent, that man is a hero, while he was rescuing a baby from a minefield this morning a fucking cobra bit him and he didn’t even flinch. We need him on our team, I can’t lose him now. What are we doing over here if we can’t even extend a little effort to save the heroes?”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/5469/20/toe-popper

Robert E. Howard A New Manifesto - Mark Finn

"Consider this a challenge to survey the amount of work that has been done in Howard Studies in the last ten years alone and then try to come up with your own take on a topic or angle of discussion that has not been beaten to death. Do not make the mistake that so many others have made; just because Robert E. Howard isn’t considered a “classic” author by the literary establishment that you can beat his literary reputation (or his personal life) like a rented mule and you will not get kicked for your efforts.

We expect you to accord Robert E. Howard the same respect as any other 20th century American author with continued and perennial popularity. No more back handed compliments. No more snide insinuations. No more rampant and irresponsible speculation with no basis of fact or evidence to bolster it. And for God’s Sake, no more “oedipal complex” crap, either. Those theories are thirty years out of date, and we are sick and tired of seeing it. Give us something new, or keep your parochial and backwards thinking to yourself."


4 out of 5

http://www.conanmovieblog.com/2010/10/18/robert-e-howard-a-new-manifesto/

Answers 8 Crappy Questions - Neal Asher

"Q. If you had to be transported into a fictional world from any author, which one would you choose?

Neal: My own. Yeah, things get a bit fraught out on the border of the Polity, but within it life can be pretty good. You can live forever, choosing from a range of options to that end: you can upload to crystal in a golem chassis, a drone, a static AI, and the greatest threat to your life will be boredom. You can travel by runcible or ship to numerous strange and interesting worlds. The need for manual labour or a nine-to-five job ended centuries before. You can upload skills and other knowledge to your mind. Seems pretty good to me."


4 out of 5

http://www.sffnews.com/2010/09/neal-asher-answers-8-crappy-questions.html

Jury Service 4 - Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow

Jury Service - Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/stross-doctorow/stross-doctorow1.html

More satire starring Huw. Off to Libya for some legal expertise displays about technology. Or the other way around.

"Procedurally the PMLJ have given me total autonomy as long as I conduct this hearing in strict accordance within the bounds of international law as laid down by the Hague Tribunal on Trans-Human Manifestations and Magic."

"A fractional-dimensional parasitic turd-gobbler from outer space?" Huw says. "Have I got that right?"

A fair bit of vintage Stross in this one.


4 out of 5


http://www.archive.org/download/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_192/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_192_Jury_Service_04.mp3

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Wheel Of Samsara - Han Song

Big Bang lama.


3 out of 5

http://io9.com/5442944/a-martian-in-tibet

There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow/now Is The Best Time Of Your Life - Cory Doctorow

Just stay young in the Wumpus hunt with robot battlesuits.


3.5 out of 5


http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=%28collection%3Apodcast_corydoctorow%20OR%20mediatype%3Apodcast_corydoctorow%29%20AND%20-mediatype%3Acollection&sort=-avg_rating%3B-num_reviews&page=4

The Basics of Flight 2 3 - Joyce Chng

"He pulled the net, heaved it into the boat dripping with seawater and writhing with live fish. Looked like a sizeable catch. As expected, there was something large bulging the net. He leaned forward to look at it…

… only to stare into baleful eyes, the color of black polished stone. And a crescent-grin filled with toothy malice.

Victor jumped back. He should be accustomed to the sight of sharks. But this one was an odd blighter, with a long horn protruding from its head. And what a strange tail. It was more serpent than shark. He prodded it; it was already dead, probably of exertion, crimson blood trickling from its gills.

A serpent shark. Now that would scare his children, though his oldest – Henry – might just relish the tale as all pre-adolescent boys would when it comes to the macabre and the strange."


3.5 out of 5

http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/original-fiction-the-basics-of-flight-part-2-chapter-3-by-joyce-chng/

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sublimation Angels 1 - Jason Sanford

Low kid AI mom decay alien Handling.


4 out of 5

http://www.jasonsanford.com/files/sublimationangels-1.pdf


4 out of 5

http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/starshipsofa/StarShipSofa_Aural_Delights_No_158_Jason_Sandford_and_Jeff_Carlson.mp3

The Complete Interview - Bruce Sterling

"It's like learning about the railroad, and immediately thinking that it means that foreign spies will come to your town on the railroad. That is true. Yes, foreign spies really are a threat to your liberty, and they will use railroads. But railroads are alarming for many good reasons other than mere foreign spies.
The worst concern about a railroad is this: if a rival town gets the railroad, and your town doesn't get that railroad, then your town dies. You will live a dead town. Posed in the rhetorical terms of the Internet of Things, this would mean a frightening "Internet of Things Gap." This would be something like yesterday's famous "digital divide." When no one has it, then it might be bad to have it. When others really have it and you don't, that deprivation is terrifying, unjust, evil. This would crush all your intelligent and skeptical reservations because it would reframe the debate in a way you could not counter.
The Internet of Things is indeed startling. It is also dangerous. But that's just theory. To to have no real Internet is worse. To have no Internet while others do have it can be lethal. The Regione of Piemonte understood that problem, and that's why I am able to type this to you on some very nice state-supported broadband."


3.5 out of 5

http://www.40kbooks.com/?p=1769

The Oblivion Society 1 - Marcus Alexander Hart

""No you don't," Boltzmann said, pulling his doughy hand back. "Don't try to confuse this woman any more with your runaround. Just open your drawer and give her back the $159.98 that you ripped off from her. Or should I say, open your purse."

"But it's not... I mean, there's the two positive scans, and one negative. One plus one minus one equals one. It's all taken care of."

"Vivian," Boltzmann seethed, "I'm going to count to ten, and if you don't..."

"Fine," Vivian boiled, opening her register drawer. "Here's the hundred dollars back that she gave me, and here's another sixty just for being so good at math."

"That's more like it," Boltzmann said. "You're lucky she's such a good sport."

He snatched the bills from Vivian's hand and gave them to the old woman.

"There you go, ma'am. Keep the change. I hope we'll see you in here again real soon." "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.oblivionsociety.com/sample/

Paranormals 1 - Christopher Andrews

Night of the White Flash effect.


3 out of 5

http://www.christopherandrews.com/downloads/Paranormals-CAcom_Excerpt.pdf

Ex-Heroes 1 - Peter Clines

"“Yes it was.” Katie glanced at the moving figures on the street. She counted two dozen exes below on Gower. Nine male, fifteen female. Just the other night she’d gotten in a heated, after-sex discussion with Derek about whether exes even had genders.

“They don’t mate,” Derek had said. “They don’t use the parts for anything, so calling them male or female is pointless. They’re all just 'its'.”

“So if you don’t have sex, you’re an it?”

“Well, not if you’re choosing not to have sex, no. But rocks don’t fuck. Neither do chairs or blankets or exes. So they’re its.”"


3 out of 5


http://www.smashwords.com/extreader/read/11040/3/ex-heroes

The Colour Out of Space 2 - H. P. Lovecraft

"When a strange meteor falls from the sky, everything on the farm gets... strange...."


5 out of 5

http://nineteennocturne.libsyn.com/lovecraft-8-the-colour-out-of-space-part-2

The Basics of Flight 2 2 - Joyne Chng

"Soon the two young ladies sat down on their beds to catch their breath and to rest. Katherine checked the little fledgling in its little cage. It was eating well and the feathers were looking healthy. The eyes were bright, shining. Sadly, the injured wing remained slightly twisted and she fretted. She had named it Tito and had grown fond of it. Captain Sagan had already given permission; Katherine would have to free the fledgling once it was healed and matured."


3 out of 5

http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/original-fiction-the-basics-of-flight-part-2-chapter-2-by-joyce-chng/

The Natives - Katherine MacLean

Grownup flashing.


2 out of 5

http://manybooks.net/titles/macleanka3384333843.html

The Slizzers - Jerome Bixby

Reducing ur lifespans.


2.5 out of 5

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/33850

Saturday, October 16, 2010

In Conversation - Kim Stanley Robinson

Audio interview from the ABC :-

"American science fiction writer, Kim Stanley Robinson, best known for his award winning "Mars" trilogy, joins Lucy Sussex at the Melbourne Writers Festival to discuss the inspiration for his work and the problems facing planet Earth."


4.5 out of 5

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2010/10/12/3034904.htm

Ask A Foolish Question - Robert Sheckley

Long wrong Answerer.


2 out of 5

http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/33854

She Knew He Was Coming - Kris Neville

Dordocs for the girl.


3 out of 5

http://gutenberg.org/ebooks/33934

Binary 1 - Jay Caselberg

" The chuckah took a step toward Roge, stopped, clawed at the ground. Men Darnak knew if he moved too quickly, the beast would charge, and Roge was exposed, naked, completely unprotected. He hefted his spear, thoughts racing. It was too far from where he was. Besides, the animal’s bony hide left few places for and accurate strike. "


3 out of 5

http://www.bookviewcafe.com/index.php/Jay-Caselberg/Jay-Caselberg-Novels/Binary-Chapter-1

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack - Mark Hodder

"“You are supposed to marry Isabel and be sent from one fucking miserable consulship to another. Your career is supposed to peak in three years when you debate the Nile question with Speke and the silly sod shoots himself dead. You are supposed to write books and die.”

Burton braced his legs against the wall.

“What the hell are you babbling about?” he demanded, in a stronger voice. “The debate was cancelled. Speke shot himself yesterday—but he’s not dead!”

The creature’s eyes widened."


3 out of 5

http://pyrsamples.blogspot.com/2010/10/strange-affair-of-spring-heeled-jack-by.html

The Insidious Fu Manchu 1 - Sax Rohmer

Just your usual Asian supervillain criminal mastermind escaping the poms.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/insidious_dr_fumanchu_fnh_librivox/insidiousdrfu_02_rohmer_64kb.mp3

Interview Part One - Iain M. Banks

"“But one of things I did start writing down recently was the emotional colours of the drones, the colours that their fields go. I found myself wondering, ‘What colour does a drone’s emotional field go when it’s being sarcastic?’ I’d simply forgotten over the years! So I needed to write this stuff down. I also have a big list of ship names arranged alphabetically. There’s about 2,500 of them! It’s so that I won’t repeat the name. I make notes of the names of ships that I’d like to get in. When Transition comes out in paperback we’re releasing an iPhone app so I suppose this sort of thing might end up on an app in future.”"


4 out of 5

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/10/12/interview-iain-m-banks-part-one/

Interview Part Two - Iain M. Banks

"Banks: “Have I not told you my plan for the Culture universe?! [You've got it all figured out? – SFX] Oh yeah, the whole idea behind the universe in the Culture books has been hinted at since The Player Of Games onwards, but I have worked it out. Have you got any crayons? [Laughs] Right, the universe expands from the Big Bang – but it’s not an expanding beach ball, it’s an expanding onion. There’s a Big Bang going off all the time at the centre, and the outer universes get bigger and bigger as they go. So if you’re in one layer, you could go down a layer to a smaller, younger universe and in theory keep on going down until you got to a Big Bang. There are also older universes beyond ours. You know the energy grid between the layers of the universe that the ships use for power? It’s between each of the layers of the onion.

“So the Excession is a symptom of something that can travel between layers in this onion universe, and it’s incredibly exciting to the Culture because they can’t do this. As far as we know of all the races and species nobody can do this yet. Maybe the Sublimed people can, but they’re not telling. (It gets even more complicated, in fact, with a completely nonsensical torus-shaped representation of a multi-dimensional hypersphere that I worked out in 1980.) The more we learn about physics the less sense all this makes, but that’s the answer: that’s where the Excession is coming from!”"


4 out of 5

http://www.sfx.co.uk/2010/10/13/interview-iain-m-banks-part-two/

At the Queen's Command 1 - Michael Stackpole

"Captain Tar broke through his thoughts. “It occurs to me, Captain, that men like Wattling want to believe they understand the reality of war.”

“That is the folly of many men.”

“Can anyone understand battle they have not been there? I’ve not seen much fighting–fended off a pirate or two–but holding a Mate so the doctor can saw his leg off stays with a man.”"


3.5 out of 5

http://www.michaelastackpole.com/?p=1725

Velvet Revolution - Jenny Blackford

Watch out for the attack otters.



3 out of 5

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/node/3801/full

Kingdom Come 14 - Elliot S. Maggin

""This woman Diana," I said to the Spectre, "is very much unlike the public persona of the Wonder Woman I remember."

"How is that?"

"The Wonder Woman of my youth was a kind of icon. She appeared from nowhere to solve problems. Her tools were persuasion and intimidation, as much as her sword or her magic lasso. This woman is not so monolithic. She is complex. Certainly she is intimidating, but she's thoughtful and intellectually honest. And she is unpredictable. I think Kal-El was genuinely surprised when she asked King Arthur to provide a prison for rogue metahumans. And he was also surprised when she told him that her sisters on Paradise Island took away her diplomatic portfolio. I just don't think a young man—even a young Superman—could be wise or brave enough to enter her intimate world. This is a mature relationship."

The Spectre looked. This was a mature relationship?"


3.5 out of 5

http://superman.nu/esm/KC-Chap14.php

Deluge 57 - Brian Keene

"The two men rushed forward and grabbed Gail’s arms. Grimacing, Simon pulled the suit coat over his hands and arms, and then grabbed the tentacle around her leg. He muttered something in a language that Gail didn’t recognize. There was a crackling sound, and the air suddenly smelled of grilled fish. Then the tentacle uncoiled, freeing her."


4 out of 5

http://www.briankeene.com/?p=4832

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Lifecycle of Software Objects - Ted Chiang

Novella

Number of words : 31000
Percent of complex words : 11.3
Average syllables per word : 1.5
Average words per sentence : 22.7


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 13.6
Flesch : 54.4
Flesch-Kincaid : 11.3



PEOPLE

Ana Alvardo

An ex-zookeeper and now software trainer and tester working with digients at Blue Gamma until they fold.

Robyn

A friend of Ana's who gets her a job with her employer, Blue Gamma.

Pongo

A digient with a chimp-like Avatar.

Derek Brooks

A designer for Blue Gamma, and becomes a friend of Anna's. Becomes owner of Marco and Polo. Has a thing for Ana.

Jax

A digient whose avatar is an old-fashioned copper robot. Becomes Ana's.

Lolly

A digient with a lion cub-like Avatar.

Mahesh

One of Blue Gamma's owners.

Marco

A digient with a panda-like Avatar. Becomes Derek's.

Polo

A digient with a panda-like Avatar like Polo. Becomes Derek's.

Zoe Armstrong

A digient owner.

Natasha

Zoe Armstrong's digient.

Andew Nguyen

A digient owner.

Natalie Vance

A digient owner.

Coco

Natalie Vance's 'Lolly' digient.

Tibo

One of the oldest digients aside from the mascots.

Carlton

The beta tester that owns Tibo.

Wendy

Derek's wife for a time.

Zaff

A digient with a jaguar cub-like Avatar.

Helen Costas

A digient owner.

Stuart Gust

A digient owner.

Nytti

A digient that gets copied for torture thanks to a crack.

Lisma Gunawan

A digient owner that builds a private island for digient safety.

Andro

A digient trained by his owner Bryce Talbot to act as his personal assistant.

Bryce Talbot

Andro's owner.

Maria Zheng

A digient owner.

Voyl

A Sophonce digient that has been incorporated and given legal status.

Gerald Hecht

A lawyer, and Voyl's owner.

Kyle

Ana's boyfriend.

Felix Radcliffe

A Xenotherian digient project devotee.

Jennifer Chase

The spokeswoman for Binary Desire, who offers the Neuroblast digient user group a deal worth considering.

Roland Michaels

A Binary Desire Employee.

Jeremy Brauer

An Exponential Appliances employee that talks to the digient users.

Frank Pearson

An Exponential Appliances employee that talks to the digient users.


TECHNOLOGY

Next Dimension

A virtual environment.

Data Earth

A virtual environment used by the Neuroblast digients and their users.

Neuroblast

An engine for running artificial intelligence development on Data Earth.

Origami

An engine for running artificial intelligence development on Next Dimension.

Faberge

An engine for running artificial intelligence development on Anywhere.

Anywhere

A virtual environment.

Real Space

A new virtual environment.

Sophonce

An AI engine that is good for producing obsessively focused digients which can be used as workers.

Data Mars

The platform for the Xenotherian digients.

InstantRapport

A drug designed to increase bonding.


MEDIA

Age of Iridium

An online multiplayer computer game.

Elderthorn

An online multiplayer computer game on Data Earth.

Oribus Tertius

An online multiplayer computer game on Data Earth.

Siege of Heaven

A new Data Earth game continent.

Five Dynasties

A Data Earth game continent.

Jerk Vector

A hovercar racing game in Data Earth.


ORGANISATIONS

Blue Gamma

A technology company working on Artificial Intelligence as a product, particularly AI companion/pets. Employers of Ana and Derek while they existed.

SaruMech

A company that makes robots that can be used to embody digients.

Information Freedom Front

An organization that lobbies for the end of privately owned data.

Daesan Digital

The company that runs Data Earth.

VirlFriday

Maker of appointment-management software, interested in AI that can perform these functions.

Visma Media

Creator of the Real Space platform. They merge with Data Earth.

Edgeplayer

Marketer of a digient torture chamber.

Binary Desire

A company that makes sex dolls in all forms.

Exponential Appliances

A company that makes robots.

Polytope

A company that wants Ana to work for them as trainer, but with her using InstantRapport.

RACES

Digients

Artificial Intelligences.

Drayta

A Sophonce digient who’s skilled at solving the logic puzzles found on the gaming continents.

Xenotherians

Digients designed to be tentacled aliens.


PLOT


Ana is unemployed, an ex-zookeeper who has retrained as a software tester recently. A friend comes along with a job offer that uses her previous animal training skills - working with artificial intelligences to get them into shape to be sold as pets that can learn.

The entertainment software industry is tough, and raising pets isn't all fun and games like putting on magic armour and chopping things up as any pet owner will know. That is, people get tired of them, and get rid of them. In the case of AI, you only have to push a button though, not dump them, kill them or have someone else put them down.

When the company she was working for shut down some keen enthusiasts such as herself and Derek adopt some of the digients they were working with - Jax the little robot guy in her case, and Marco and Polo the pandas in the case of Derek. Over the years they keep working with their 'pets', who become more and more mature and knowledgeable about the outside world thanks to trips in robot bodies.

When the platform they were built on becomes old tech and lagging, and this company is taken over by someone bigger and newer, the digients are stuck in a ghost town, with their friends both AI and human moving on. The Neuroblast digient user group doesn't have the resources or talent to write a port for them, and they are unable to get enough corporate interest in their hard sell wishes.

That is, until a company that wants AI for sex companions comes along - and this is where they have an advantage, having the oldest and most human seeming digients around. Jax, Marco and Polo themselves are wanting to be more reponsible for themselves, too, and make their own mistakes and incorporate so they have legal status. The decision is, should you let them now, or not, especially if they have decided they want to, so they can rejoin the rest of the world online with a financed port.


4 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/fall-2010/fiction-the-lifecycle-of-software-objects-by-ted-chiang/

SF Crownest Interview With - Brian Lumley

"SFC: Do you think English horror fiction has a distinct style or focus that sets it apart from American horror fiction?

A5. I do, yes. A lot of American fiction comes over as from street-wise authors. For example: I don't think it's in your average British writer to be able to do splatter, which certain American authors -- I'm thinking of Joe Lansdale -- do so well and so disquietingly... And my apologies to Joe if he doesn't think he writes splatter; in fact what he does do is pretty much unique! But British horror...well, it's simply stiff-upper-lip British. Which is to say that in the main it has a certain ‘proper’ flavour. And to my mind, if only to my mind, HPL -- a lifelong Anglophile -- well, his writing has the same flavour. "


3.5 out of 5

http://www.sfcrowsnest.com/articles/features/2010/An-interview-with-Brian-Lumley-15562.php

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Lifecycle of Software Objects - Ted Chiang

Digient maturity porn port choice.


4 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/fall-2010/fiction-the-lifecycle-of-software-objects-by-ted-chiang/

Surface Details 1 - Iain M. Banks

"She looked up into the darkness as her heart thrashed and jerked around the blade, as though trying to clutch it. Then her heart spasmed one last time and fell back to a sort of faintly trembling, pulseless calm for a moment. When Veppers jerked the knife out, even that ceased. A weight infinitely greater than that of just one man seemed to settle on her. She felt too tired to breathe now; her last breath fluttered from her torn-open windpipe like a departing lover. Somehow everything seemed to have gone very quiet and still around her, even though she was aware of shouting and could feel Veppers rise up and off her – though not without giving her a final slap across the face, just for good measure. She could sense the other two men were moving quickly to her side once again, touching, feeling, trying to staunch, to find a pulse, to plug her wounds.

Too late now, she thought, . . . Meant nothing . . ."


3 out of 5

http://www.orbitbooks.net/surfacedetail/

Jury Service 3 - Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow

Jury Service - Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross
http://www.scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/stross-doctorow/stross-doctorow1.html

More satire starring Huw. Off to Libya for some legal expertise displays about technology. Or the other way around.

"Procedurally the PMLJ have given me total autonomy as long as I conduct this hearing in strict accordance within the bounds of international law as laid down by the Hague Tribunal on Trans-Human Manifestations and Magic."

"A fractional-dimensional parasitic turd-gobbler from outer space?" Huw says. "Have I got that right?"

A fair bit of vintage Stross in this one.


4 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/download/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_191/Cory_Doctorow_Podcast_191_Jury_Service_03.mp3

Sword and Sorcery’s Next Big Thing Interview with - James Enge

"Also, in This Crooked Way, you take the story from various view points, giving it a mosaic feel that’s very unlike most classical Sword and Sorcery. Why did you chose to do this? What were you trying to accomplish?

I think you’re right that the shifting point-of-view is very different from classic S&S, which has normally been restricted 3rd person. Maybe Fafhrd is the POV character in one story and the Gray Mouser in another, but I usually doesn’t switch between 1st person narrators. (Zelazny’s Amber series is sort of an exception here, but Zelazny is always exceptional.) But I wanted to look at Morlock from different angles, see him and his actions through different eyes and, frankly, to hear other voices. (Morlock doesn’t talk much, at least when he’s sober.) It was an interesting technical challenge to tell a story with different members of the cast stepping forward to take a solo, as it were. And some readers have liked this and some have really hated it, even people who ended up liking the book.

The episodic nature of THIS CROOKED WAY is more traditional, like Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser books, or Vance’s Dying Earth series or Moorcock’s Elric stories (which I first read in the fix-up versions DAW published inthe 70s; it’s been interesting to reread them in the restored Ballantine editions). I badly wanted to write an episodic novel. There’s something satisfying to me in a story that has a series of plot arcs, each of which has a culmination, but all of which are part of a bigger arc which has its own resolution."


4.5 out of 5

http://pauljessup.com/2010/10/11/interview-with-james-enge-sword-and-sorcerys-next-big-thing/

Monday, October 11, 2010

Subterranean Online 15 - William Schafer

A consistently good issue. An interview with K. J. Parker by Tom Holt, an article by Armstrong, a review or two.

The short stories here are better than the longer work, in general, Shepard excepted perhaps.

Subterranean Online 15 : A Burglar's-Eye View of Greed - Lawrence Block
Subterranean Online 15 : Amor Vincit Omnia - K. J. Parker
Subterranean Online 15 : Dream of the Arrow - Jay Lake
Subterranean Online 15 : Ghosts In My Head - Cory Doctorow
Subterranean Online 15 : Six Blind Men and an Alien - Mike Resnick
Subterranean Online 15 : The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers beneath the Queen's Window - Rachel Swirsky
Subterranean Online 15 : The Taborin Scale - Lucius Shepard

Success is an equal opportunity corrupter, says the honest thief.

3.5 out of 5


Total defense training.

3.5 out of 5


Creepy crybaby shot.

3 out of 5


Tinfoil beanie advertising brain takeover.

3.5 out of 5


That's definitely not a leopard.

3.5 out of 5


Magic type straw men.

3 out of 5


One not family under Griaule.

3.5 out of 5




4 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/

The Taborin Scale - Lucius Shepard

One not family under Griaule.


3.5 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-the-taborin-scale-by-lucius-shepard/

Ghosts In My Head - Cory Doctorow

Tinfoil beanie advertising brain takeover.


3.5 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-ghosts-in-my-head-by-cory-doctorow/

Amor Vincit Omnia - K. J. Parker

Total defense training.


3.5 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-amor-vincit-omnia-by-k-j-parker/

Dream of the Arrow - Jay Lake

Creepy crybaby shot.


3 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-dream-of-the-arrow-by-jay-lake/

Six Blind Men and an Alien - Mike Resnick

That's definitely not a leopard.


3.5 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-six-blind-men-and-an-alien-by-mike-resnick/

The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath The Queen's Window - Rachel Swirsky

Magic type straw men.


3 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-the-lady-who-plucked-red-flowers-beneath-the-queens-window-by-rachel-swirsky/

A Burglar's-eye View Of Greed - Lawrence Block

Success is an equal opportunity corrupter, says the honest thief.


3.5 out of 5

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/summer-2010/fiction-a-burglars-eye-view-of-greed-by-lawrence-block/

The Sword of the Lictor - Gene Wolfe

The title delineates a role that Severian, whose memoirs these books purport to be, must play. It is an office of duty. Being a torturer and executioner, he is called upon to kill yet another woman, He refuses one of these due to emotion, and has to leave.


3 out of 5

http://www.archive.org/details/swordoflictor00wolf

Apex Magazine 17 - Catherynne M. Valente

This would certainly seem to not be a SF/horror mag anymore.

Apex Magazine 17 : Apex Magazine 17 - Catherynne M. Valente
Apex Magazine 17 : Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale) - Ian Tregillis
Apex Magazine 17 : The Girl Who Had Six Fingers - Brenda Stokes Barron
Apex Magazine 17 : Citizen Komarova Finds Love - Ekaterina Sedia

No coppers.

2.5 out of 5


Can always use a few more.

3 out of 5


Tink time.

2.5 out of 5





1 out of 5

http://apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2010/10/short-fiction-“still-life-a-sexagesimal-fairy-tale”-by-ian-tregillis/

The Basics of Flight 2 1 - Joyce Chng

"That is it, Katherine thought as she limped out of the blimp-fin. I am done for. Her heart lifted at the sight of her friends rushing to greet. Alethia was there. Even Thomas, pompous and competitive Thomas, was walking up to her with a big grin on his fair face."


3 out of 5

http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/original-fiction-the-basics-of-flight-part-2-chapter-1-by-joyce-chng/

Still Life A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale - Ian Tregillis

Tink time.


2.5 out of 5

http://apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2010/10/short-fiction-%E2%80%9Cstill-life-a-sexagesimal-fairy-tale%E2%80%9D-by-ian-tregillis/

The Girl Who Had Six Fingers - Brenda Stokes Barron

Can always use a few more.


3 out of 5

http://apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2010/10/short-fiction-the-girl-who-had-six-fingers-by-brenda-stokes/

Citizen Komarova Finds Love - Ekaterina Sedia

No coppers.


2.5 out of 5

http://apexbookcompany.com/apex-online/2010/10/short-fiction-citizen-komarova-finds-love-by-ekaterina-sedia/

Long Pig - Matthew Johnson

Cannibal cuisine.


3 out of 5

http://dailysciencefiction.com/story/long-pig

Finding Joan - David D. Levine

Gamma ray blast garden.


3.5 out of 5

http://dailysciencefiction.com/story/finding-joan

The Keeper of the Morals - Dean Wesley Smith

Blonde bad boost.


3.5 out of 5

http://www.deanwesleysmithstories.com/?p=235

Spirits In the Night - Michael Swanwick

Ginhenge full body tongue freeze.


3 out of 5

http://www.abyssandapex.com/201010-Spirits.html

The Basics of Flight 7 - Joyce Chng

"Throughout the day, she had tiny tin-men underfoot as well as steel-puppies nuzzling her ankles in strangely canine affection. Sun-fliers, fragilely made like the hummingbirds from South America, darted about, their metal wings beating rapidly. She allowed one to alight on her finger, only to have it whiz away in a blur of bronze wings. The steel-puppies – metallic bulldogs – bowed and wanted to play, their cogs whirling away in excitement while the tin-men marched around, fetching workshop material for Mr Forrester and causing merriment amongst the watchers."



3 out of 5

http://worldsf.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/original-fiction-%E2%80%9Cthe-basics-of-flight%E2%80%9D-ch-7-by-joyce-chng/

Monkey Boy - Jeremy C. Shipp

Deep down in the poo.


3 out of 5

http://jeremycshipp.com/monkeyboy.htm

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Author with the Unpronounceable Name an Interview with - Paolo Bacigalupi

"AV: Ursula K. Heise states in “From Extinction to Electronics: Dead Frogs, Live Dinosaurs, and Electric Sheep,” that there is “the possibility of a different relationship between species: one that no longer privileges the right of humans—feminine or masculine—over those of all other life forms of life, but that recognizes the value and rights of nonhuman species along with those of humans.” This takes into consideration such characters in your fiction as human and posthuman—centaurs, bio-jobs, animals, and windups. Based on the relationship of the characters in “The People of Sand and Slag,” the future for humanity does not look promising. What is your vision of the future for mankind in the 21st century and beyond?

PB: I think—if we're honest with ourselves—that we all know that we will be making do with less, even as we try to convince ourselves that we've actually got more. We'll enjoy less open space, fewer species and less diverse ecosystems, less clean water, less clean air, less ecosystem resilience, less cheap energy. Life today is probably as good as it gets. Of course, we could actually start planning and preserving and living as if we've got a long-term interest in the planet—as if we're embedded and part of a much larger web, which I think is what Ms. Heise is referring to—but we haven't showed any signs of change so far. I'm betting we're going to stay selfish, and hand our kids a shitstorm."


4 out of 5

http://www.raintaxi.com/online/2010fall/bacigalupi.shtml

Books I will not write #6: Halting State Variations - Charles Stross

"Remember those semi-amnesic Great Vampires who roll with the times? They're not total amnesiacs; the most important wisdom of the ages sticks with them. The madness of crowds, for example, is the easiest way to fleece a herd of human sheep. They're sensitive to patterns of human behaviour that no short-lived mayfly human can sense, except in the abstract; this gives them a huge edge. And they have an unearthly ability to make people believe things, however improbable they might sound at face value. A vampire prince makes a great marketing huckster, a brilliant visionary executive. An angel investor.

... At which point I need to splice in the proposed plot for the crime novel, with a few added twists: in a nutshell, our dot-com is a cash cow for a vampire who is feathering his nest-egg. Our vanishing hacker tried to rip the vampire off, and has been disappeared for his pains. Our investigators-who-don't-trust-each-other, the classic ill-assorted pair, slowly realise that they could re-create the crime — but who killed the original criminal? And why? Cue the slow build-up of tension as they discover that they're not up against an ordinary fraudster, or indeed an ordinary murderer, but something much darker and smellier."


4 out of 5

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2010/10/books-i-will-not-write-6-halti.html

Saturday, October 09, 2010

When Gravity Fails Interview With - Paul Kearney

Solaris: Well, we’re happy you managed to find two more books in there. You’ve said before that fantasy writers tend to lazily stick to the pseudo-Tolkienesque, pseudo-medieval fantasy milieu. You’ve covered classical and late-medieval; what era would you like to see more of? Stone-age fantasy? Iron age? Renaissance? Why?

Storming out of Robert E. Howard's head. His hot, sweaty, head.PK: I’d like to see more of that kind of strange otherness that literally made the hair stand up on the back of my neck when I first read Robert E Howard. I’m a massive Tolkien fan, but Howard was able to evoke an entire epoch that was weird and distant and visceral without breaking sweat. I think of him bent over his typewriter in ’twenties Texas, and I wonder to this day – where the hell did he get it from? It was effortless – at least that’s how it seems – and it stormed out of his head fully-fledged and howling. I’d like to see some modern day fantasy author go for that kind of energy – throw the world-building out the window for crying out loud – and just write a good goddamned story.


4 out of 5

http://solaris-editors-blog.blogspot.com/2010/10/interview-with-paul-kearney.html